Specifying a Domain Name Service (Title edited)

One thing I just realized I appreciate about the L5 is how easy it is to add a selected DNS provider. (IIR, it’s not, or at least wasn’t, so simple to do on Android or iOS.) But the L5 is a computer, so you get to decide these things.

In wifi settings, you just tap the little gear wheel beside your home network name, then you get this screen (I’ve masked my IP address):

Now tap on IPV4 (and/or IPV6, if appropriate) and you’ll see this:

Tap Add DNS Server (I’m adding, which is Cloudflare.), then Add:

Here I’ve added Cloudflare’s backup,

Tap Apply and you’re done.

If you have already set a preferred DNS provider on your home router, then the above is unnecessary, of course.

On public wifi, you can set your chosen DNS provider for any network you’re using at the moment.

You can also set a specific DNS provider in the Firefox-ESR Preferences panel, which will make browsing more private over the cellular network. (Although I’m having trouble getting that to stick on my L5 at the moment. EDIT: The problem was the OK button being inaccessible; you have to scale the screen down to see it and tap it after you make changes.)

Personally, though, I prefer to connect through a paid VPN at all times, in which case, they usually choose the DNS provider, whether I’m on wifi or cellular. (And that overrides my custom device setting.)

I like the simple stuff! :slightly_smiling_face:

[The above screenshots were taken out of sequence, hence the unexpected time stamps.]

I welcome discussion about DNS providers, if anybody has thoughts on that subject.


Thanks for the tutorial.

This matches exactly to my preference. On the other hand I always have concerns regarding:

  • does the permanent VPN connection have a big impact on the battery
  • does the permanent VPN connection have a big impact on mobile data

I have my secure home network where I don’t need the phone to connect to a vpn, where as I would like to phone to use VPN with mobile data or in foreign WiFis.

Within my VPN / home network I also use a pi hole as a DNS provider.

On the L5, probably yes. Or at least more noticeably so (at the moment).

With the L5, I’m guessing there won’t be a lot of data exchange going on when you’re not actually browsing the internet or checking email. (Unlike with those “other,” disrespectful phones.)

Good point! With the other disrespectful phones I specify per app to not use mobile data. I guess that doesn’t exist for the librem 5 yet. Would be bad if I have e.g. a file sync like my Nextcloud syncing 5 GB of data while I am on the go.

You can turn mobile data on and off while on cellular:


That’s good but that’s a global setting. What I meant was that you tell per app that an app can use the network e.g. only with wifi (or only with free wifi compared to paid wifi) or also with mobile data.

Just imagine I have a file sync app to sync all my fotos to my personal cloud. I want to sync it when I have wifi connection because syncing it via mobile data would use all my data on the go.

Turning mobile data completely off (global setting) while I am taking fotos would not be the solution as I still want to be able to chat via matrix or receive e-mails.

This will probably be possible to set within the app. I don’t have a sync set up, so I cant test it.

It’s good news if something like that is already implemented. However leaving it to an app will add another function which would need to be changed to every app to port it to the Librem 5. Doesn’t sound like the correct way to me.

To me it’s like blocking camera, microphone and reading contacts to an app. Android has a really good solution to this giving you the possibility to choose instead of leaving it to the app to get access. The same way you can white or blacklist apps in android to use mobile data. These are things which to my understand should be done on operation system level.

I will stop derailing this topic any further. :-X This was my last post on this.

I take your point about not wanting a global setting and not wanting the functionality to have to be implemented in each individual app so …

one solution would be: don’t run the app when not on WiFi (requires some means of stopping and starting but a sync application should have such a control anyway)

another solution would be: if your personal cloud is at home then it is easy to ensure that it can only sync when on WiFi at home (and if your personal cloud is on the internet somewhere then you may be able to ensure that it cannot sync when on mobile data, at least if you use an unchanging mobile provider with predictable IP address range)

I recognise that these are workarounds for what you really want.

(I want to sync photos when at home to the server at home, not to my personal cloud. So that is different again. However I would need a working camera before that becomes relevant.)

The Librem 5 network settings for a connection do contain a switch for “Metered connection”, with the annotation
Limit background data
but I don’t know what the implications of that switch are.